I have Canadian visa in my passport and I’m so proud of it. In 2010 I was working in the US close to the Niagara Falls and, as many of you may know, on the other side of the falls there is Toronto – one of the biggest Canadian cities. You can get to Canada on foot using the pedestrian bridge across the waterfall with amazing view or just have a bus which will bring you to Toronto in less than 2 hours.
From the very beginning, when I get out of the bus in Toronto, I had that feeling as I came home…
Everything was so much familiar to me. The big mall with a poster where lady was saying “We were waiting for you” in Ukrainian made our day spectacular from the very beginning.
So, which similarities have Ukraine and Canada? Here is my own investigation on the facts which make these two far away countries so familiar to each other:
1) Canada was the 1st Western country which has recognized Ukrainian Independency on the 2nd of December 1991.
2) Canada is the 3rd country in the world after Ukraine and Russia with the biggest amount of ethnic Ukrainians. Canadian Ukrainians – the biggest Slavonic diaspora on Canadian territory.
3) The Ukrainian diaspora brought the concept of Canadian multiculturalism. Ukrainians convinced the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism to depart from the concept of English-French bilingualism, which lower the influence of other nationalities to the cultural development of Canada. This caused that the prime-minister Trudo declared official concept of multiculturalism.
4) Ukrainian language is investigating and studying in Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.
5) There are many of ethnic Ukrainians who succeed on political arena of Canada. One of the highest ranks was achieved by Roman Hnatyshyn who occupied the position of Governor General of Canada in 1990-1995.
6) National symbols of Ukraine and Canada have something in common. Just have a look at the picture below (can you see the Trinity? I can =) Both of them declares Independence and unity of the countries:
However, the story of each symbol is different, each of them has a wonderful story to share: Canadian Maple Leaf: “The maple leaf as an important Canadian symbol dates to 1860, when the prince of Wales was visiting Canada. The English wore their traditional roses, the Scots wore their traditional thistles, and Canadians needed something to wear as well, so they chose a maple leaf. the maple leaf represents unity across the entire country- regardless of birthplace. It has become a symbol of Canada’s nationality and independence.”
Ukrainian Tryzub: in 1992 after the restoration of Ukraine’s independence the trident was accepted as the National State Emblem. “There are about 40 different theories about Ukrainian Tryzub origin and meaning. Among the most popular: -the symbol of the trident is a monogram for Ukrainian word «ВОЛЯ» with the meaning ‘freedom’; – trident is a stylized falcon or hawk – a bird, that symbolizes freedom, courage and bravery; – Trizub symbolizes the trinity of life (Father, Mother and Child) or the Christian Trinity.
7) Ukrainian handicraft “Pysankarstvo” – the art of Ester eggs painting becomes more popular in Canada each year. The biggest painted egg in the world is placed in Vegreville, Alberta.(Canada)
8) Ear of wheat from Halychyna (Ukraine) in 1842 had reached Canada. The quality and quantity of Ukrainian wheat impressed Canadians and get the name “Red Fire”.
9) Many of prominent Canadian sportsmen are Ukrainians by ethnical identity. For instance, Taras Sawchuk is still considered as the best goalkeeper in the history of hockey. His nickname “Ukie” he got, cos he was so proud of Ukraine. His career record of 103 shutouts remained unsurpassed among NHL goaltenders.
10) In overall Ukraine and Canada have tight and respectful relations which make us friends and nations with similar identity.
And it is always a pleasure to know that you have brotherhood country overseas who knows about Ukraine and respect our freedom and independence. This is quite an answer for the weekly photo challenge It’s not this time of year without thinking about all Ukrainians who settled down in other countries and work for commonwealth of Ukraine and their new country.